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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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THE CITY STBSETSi                                                155
These streets have now, throughout their entire length and breadth, "been
paved by the municipality with substantial stone flags brought from the Bharat-
pur quariesJ* The total cost has been Bs. 1,38,663. Many of the towns-
people and more particularly the pilgrinis, who go about barefooted, are "by no
means pleased with the result ; for in the winter the stone Is too cold to be
pleasant to tread upon, while in the summer again, even1 at sunset, the streets
do not cool down as they used to do aforetizne, but retain their heat through
the greater part of the night. As is the custom in the East, many mean tumble
down hovelsf are allowed here and there to ©btrade themselves upon the
view ; hut the majority of the buildings that face the principal thoroughfares
are of handsome and imposing character. With only two exceptions all have
been erected during the seventy years of British rale. Tile first of the tw©
exceptional buildings is a large red sandstone house, called Chatibe Ji k& Burj,
which may be as old as the time of Akbar. The walls are divided into square
panels, in each of which, boldly carved in low relief, is a vase filled with flowers,
executed in a manner which is highly effective, but which has quite gone out of
fashion at the present day, when pierced tracery is more appreciated. The
second is a temple sear the turn to the Sati Burj. This is remarkable for along
balcony supported on brackets quaintly carved to represent elephants. Many
of these had been built up with masonry, either by the Hindus to protect the
animal form from iconoclastic bigotry, or else by the Muhammadans themselves
to conceal it from view. This unsightly casing was at last removed in 1875.
In all the modem buildings, whether secular or. religious, the design is
of very similar character. The front is of carved stone wltt a grand central
archway and arcades on both sides let out as shops on the ground floor. Storey
upon storey above are projecting Balconies supported on quaint corbels, the
arches being filled in with the most minute reticulated tracery of an infinite
variety of pattern, and protected from the weather "by broad eaves, the under-
surface of which is brightiy painted. One of the most noticeable buildings in
point of size, though the decorations perhaps are scarcely so elegant as in some
of the latter examples, is the temple of Dwarakadhis, founded by the Gwaliar
treasurer, Parikli Ji,. and visited in 1825 by Bishop Hel>er7 who in Ms journal
describes it as follows :—" In tha centre, or nearly so? of the town, Colonel
* This important work WES- commenced in Nouerobet, 1857«
f As aa indication, that many of the houses are ncrt of the mmt siabstantpl construction* ii
m&j be obierTed that, after three days oi exceptionally heavy rain in the month of August^ 18731
m mmj as S 000 were officially r®|»rted to hare come down; 14 pe»on% cMefly children, baling
been crushed to death wider toe nine.